Geo: 52.6538, -7.24798
Woke up today and decided we wanted to spend more time in Kilkenny than just one day. Such a quaint and interesting small city with so many historical treasures to see, and we just didn't want to rush through it all in a half day. Plus, with a 5-hour drive to the Dingle Peninsula ahead of us, we thought it'd be smart to get an early start.
So, after checking to see if we could stay on another night at the wonderful Butler Court in Kilkenny and successfully cancelling our first of two nights in Dingle, we were changed travelers.
Today was more typically Irish grey skies and drizzle, so the primary destinations of our walking today was touring Kilkenny Castle near our lodging on the south end of town and St. Canice's Cathedral at the north end. The castle is over 800 years old and is a striking combination of medieval fortress and Gothic mansion. It was given to Kilkenny City in the late 1960's for restoration and heritage purposes, and it is surrounded by ancient stone walls and acres of beautiful park land.
St. Canice's (Kenneth) Cathedral was even more breathtaking. The Round Tower outside the cathedral was built first
in 849 as a lookout. The early Gothic cathedral was completed in 1285. From the towering beamed arched ceiling and the stunning stained glass to the crypts in the church, it was stunning. Interesting that a (very distant) relative of President Barack Obama, a former provost at Trinity College Dubln and a bishop in the Anglican church, is buried in the church cemetery right outside the cathedral.
Had a great meal at an Italian restaurant tonight, our best meal yet in Ireland. Tomorrow (early), onto Cashel and Dingle.
If you see or talk to either of our moms, let them know we're having a great time (and, if you can, share this blog with them . . . they're not cyber-connected).
Love to all!
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